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Righteous Judas

The term "Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah, who was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, who the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') renamed as Israel. From Judah came just one of the twelve tribes of Israel (see Hebrew to understand that while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews).

A number of Jewish names are based upon their forefather, Judah e.g. Judas and Jude. Both were popular nationalistic, even patriotic, names. One of the Messiah's own actual brothers was named Judas.

"13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us?" (Matthew 13:55-56 KJV; see also Why Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?)

"Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot"

Although "Judas" has become an equivalent word for "traitor" in the minds of many Christian-professing people, that is grossly unfair to the many other men by that name (including the writer of the Biblical book of Jude - another righteous Judas). Not only was one of His own physical brothers a "Judas," there was a righteous Judas among the twelve apostles, other than Judas Iscariot i.e. "Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor."

The Holy Scriptures

"6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 6:14 Simon, whom he also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 6:15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 6:16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor." (Luke 6:13-16 KJV)

While one Judas turned out to be the traitor, the other Judas remained loyal to the Christ.

"14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode [see Mansions] with him." (John 14:19-23 KJV)

The faithful apostle Judas is not popularly known by that name, apart from the Scriptures already quoted, because, like some of the other apostles (e.g. Simon who was also known as Peter), Judas was also known as Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus. It's only with careful consideration of the listings of the twelve, which seem different only because one writer used one of their names, while another writer used another.

Matthew records him as "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus," which also explains why he was known by those two names.

"10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." (Matthew 10:2-4 KJV)

Mark used only Thaddaeus in his listing.

"3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: 3:16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 3:18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 3:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him" (Mark 3:14-19 KJV)

Luke calls him Judas, while carefully distinguishing him from Judas Iscariot.

"6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 6:14 Simon, whom he also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 6:15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 6:16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor." (Luke 6:13-16 KJV)

John also calls him Judas, while carefully differentiating him from Judas the traitor.

"14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:22-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was the Judas who betrayed the Christ prophesied to happen?
See Was Judas Necessary?


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